This is the flymo. It is a lawn mower that is powered by electric and runs over the top of the grass like a hovercraft. I used this last week to cut my grass. I have never seen one of these before and I think it is the coolest mower ever. Even in the UK it is impossible for me to get away from yardwork…I am embracing the experience.
We have finally made it here in England. What a roller coaster of an experience we have been through. Our home is still on the market, we have walked ou youngest daughter through open heart surgery, our housing situation here in Halesowen has changed and we are currently living in base. We should have our own place by October, but until then we will probably move into some temporary housing the first of August. All in all we are doing very well. The girls are adjusting very well. They will start school in September so their summer is like a double break this year. God is definetly teaching us some incredible lessons in trusting in Him. I know that we will have a lot more lessons to learn as we serve with the ministry here at Lifehope. I am going to try and keep my blog updated more often now that we are overseas. Hope you keep following us on our journey!
Family, friends and partners,
We are excited to share with you about where we are on our journey, but first we want to express our gratitude for you prayers, support and generosity. When the Lord called our family into missions, we had no expectation of what He would do. We just wanted to be obedient. I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve with OM Ships Int’l and get introduced slowly to the life of a missionary. The time has come for us to wade out into deeper water. This next step of faith is HUGE!
Part of our journey includes moving to another country and setting up a home for our family. We currently have our home here in Florence on the market. We are also going through the beginning stages of deciding what we need to sell, store, ship or give away. One thing that we are trying to avoid until the last minute is, “what do we do with Alice?” (our cat). The whole family is attached to our wonderful Alice. Pray that the Lord will give us wisdom.
Another part of this process is applying for VISA’s. These documents are required for us to minister and live in the UK. Let’s just say that many trees were sacrificed for this process to move forward. This is the first time we have had to do anything like this, and we need to make sure that all the documents are filled out correctly. Any mistakes or missing paperwork could prevent us from gaining access into the country. We will be filing for a Missionary Visa, so it will be very clear what our purpose will be as we serve with the OM Lifehope team.
Margaret and I will be traveling to the UK at the end of the month. During that week, the team will be having their Easter Outreach. This is exciting because we will get to see first had one of the major Outreach events that the team participates in. This is also going to be a week for their monthly seminars. As we are there it will be a time for us to connect with people that we will be building relationships and for them to have a chance to meet Margaret and I before we arrive. We thought we might want them to warm up to us before we bring the whole Sinsel clan.
Our plan is to leave the US at the end of July and begin our time in the UK the first of August. We have some start up fees that need to be taken care of before we arrive. We are asking you to pray about how God may use you to help us meet some of these financial requirements. We would also like for you to pray about other people you know who have an interest in missions that you could share our story with them. Some of you have been consist on a monthly basis and we are grateful for the constant reminder of your sowing seed into the Kingdom through our family. Others of you have given out of your obedience to the Lord as He has laid it on your hearts. This has showed up as a one time gift or randomly as the Lord has stirred your heart. Thank you for your sensitivity to the Lord. All of you have been praying for our family. We want you to know that this is the one thing that keeps us going. Your prayers and encouragement enable us to take on things too great to do alone.
Financial needs to pray for:
• Sale of our home
• Start up fees to be met
o Visa application ($2,000)estimated
o Plane tickets ($5,500)
o Re-entry fee ($5,000) – This can be factored in our monthly budget
• Increase on our monthly support due to currency conversion. We need about $1,200 more a month to be pledged.
Family prayer needs:
• Discernment on what we do with Alice – the cat
• Peace through the application process
• Our marriage to be strengthened as we minister together
• Our girls to begin to transition well and enjoy family and friends while we are still here.
• Scheduled events as we lead up to departure- church meetings, partner gatherings, meeting new contacts.
• Margaret and I to walk in unity
• End ministry well with OM Ships International.
Such a short portion of Scripture…Matthew 7:13,14 “Enter through the narrow gate.For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” I will be posting some thoughts on this, but I am curious what other people think. I believe that this verse is a pinnacle portion of the Word, but do we really know what it means??
This past year has been somewhat of an awakening of my soul and a battle with my Spirit. I am still learning that I have a long way to go and a lot to learn, to be the person God has created me to be. I do not have all the answers and I still want to do what I want, but I am also remnded that my life is not always about me. That sucks (soul) sometimes! Knowing that my life is in the hands of one who has great plans for me and my family is refreshing (Spirit). I have a beautiful wife who has walked with me through every twist and turn, climb and nose dive, smooth and rough patch of my journey of faith. She has lived two lives…hers and mine. I love her because she trusts God with me! Plus she is HOT! I have 3 amazing daughters. Each one is so unique and yet love with the same passion! Laney is such an innocent, beautiful girl who wants to be loved and trusted. Janay is …well let’s just say I am curious to see what she and God will do together. Sophia, artist, srong convictions and a soft spirit. They have so much to learn, but they are teaching me how to love in different ways. Yes, sometimes I want to break my hand on their rear ends (soul), but they are being crafted into the likeness of Christ, just like me. I have the best friends in the world. Guys who really are closer than a brother. I do not deserve that kind of people in my life. They will listen to me rant and rage about what I think I am entitled too and then bring me back down to earth with hard questions and prayerful insight. Nate, Wyman, Don, Tommy, Dave; you guys rock!
Serving with a missions organisation as a support role has been more than insightful. In many ways I do not feel qualified to do some of the things that have been asked of me, so I have to trust that God is giving me the things that I need right now for this season of my life. I have always believed that God is always in the process of preparing you for the next part of your journey…I just have to make sure I am walking in step with Him and not trying to make things happen for my life. I know God has not called me to be comfortable, he has called me to be content. I guess the true test is when the things actually happen in life. God has been using this transitional time in the ministry to do some real deep things in my heart. It still feels pretty raw at times and I have to muster up the enrgy to go to the office (I hate office work), when I would much rather be OUT THERE serving in a different capacity. But I am thankful that all this is happening now when we are not in the thick of things on the field. God really does want to use us to bring Glory to His name and He will! Sometimes I have felt unworthy to be in minstry at all. I am thankful for the team around me who surrounds me with grace and mercy. We are all on this journey together and it has been healthy for me to have great leaders and a wonderful team here in Florence. We do not know what the future holds for the Sinsel family, but we do know that God is leading the charge, setting forth the battle plan and we are in training and gearing up for when the horn blows.
What has God been teaching me lately…It is not able title or position, it is about knowing the heart of the King. I am not a slave, I am a servant and friend; a son and a priest; an overcomer and a leader; a human and an heir. I hope that God will continue to birth humility in my life and that I will continue to ask questions instead of having all the answers. I look forward to 2011 with great anticipation of growing closer to my King and allowing my heart to beat as His for His people.
Our Literature division is moving on site. All the books that go to the ship make there first stop here in Florence. Our Lit. Team unpacks, sorts, prices, repacks and then ships the containers to wherever the Logos Hope will be arriving. We have cleared the land behind our office and we hope to be in the building by Christmas time.
I was given the priviledge to speak at the Jesus to the Nations youth Festival in Norway. It was great to see students get excited about walking with Jesus and then be inspired to share that with the world. We were able to see about 15 students accept Christ that weekend. Check out this amazing ministry at http://www.tbve.no. It was awesome an awesome time for Margaret and I to be together and share this experience. We also connected with our friends in Norway who serve with OM. If you are ever thinking of having a summer holiday outside the US, check out Norway! It is beautiful.
The house has been named the Thomas Guest House. One of our longest-serving engineering officers, Dave Thomas (UK) joined OM in 1969 when the vision for ship ministry had not yet become a reality. Over the years, he and his wife, Joy (USA), together with their children, served on Logos, Doulos and Logos II, as well as at the OM UK office where Dave was the Director. More recently they served at the Ships head office where Dave was the Technical Manager.
Logos and Logos II were the ships Dave was especially linked to, even though he also served as Chief Engineer on Doulos. Logos II in more ways than one was ‘his’ ship, a ship that he re-built and renovated ‘with his own hands’.
It was commitment that characterized Dave: commitment to the ministry of OM Ships; commitment to his own family, especially when he and Joy cared for and subsequently lost their special son; commitment to his engine room team and especially to many individuals, longing to see them involved in ministry and to see them developed as individuals.
I have been here and there and not exactly everywhere. I am very gratful that the Lord has had me where I am in order that I might be able to evaluate different things in my life. When it all comes down to it, we have to ask ourselves what really matters? What really matters in family, my friendships, ministry, work, you fill in your blank. I will have to do a follow up post on this for sure, but right now, I think I will just let that question settle into your heart and head. You can respond with a comment if you like.